U.S. Rep. John Kline makes it to final four of Bill Maher's #FlipADistrict Contest

Categories: Congress

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HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher
Earlier this year, HBO's Bill Maher launched a new website known as "Flip A District," where viewers could ponder the worst U.S. representative. The hope was that bad publicity would oust one poor bastard from power in the next election.

For months, the votes poured in through Twitter, and on Friday, Maher announced the first pol to make it to the final four bracket: John Kline of Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.

See also:
John Kline presents GOP position on health care at President Obama's summit

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New report finds dangerous levels of arsenic across Minnesota wells

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The Center for Public Integrity
Minnesotans are at risk of consuming dangerous levels of arsenic in their food and water, according to weekend report released by the Center for Public Integrity.
 
Whether there's such a thing as a safe level of arsenic is debatable, though even small amounts of the toxin have been linked to lower IQ scores in children and instances of cancer in adults. At home, researchers found that the concentration of arsenic in an alarming number of groundwater wells exceeded 10 parts per billion -- the ceiling set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dozens tested positive for more than 50 parts per billion.

See also:
How undercover animal rights activists are winning the Ag-Gag war



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Dakota descendants sue landowners and other Indians to reclaim part of southern Minnesota

Categories: Congress
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Doug Wallick via Flickr
Statue outside the Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton and the site of contested land
Descendants of Dakota Indians are suing southern Minnesota property owners to set up a new reservation on land that was once promised by the federal government. A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to evict the current inhabitants of 12 square miles northwest of New Ulm and asks for monetary damages based on 150 years of what's being labeled as trespassing.

The argument stems from an 1863 act of Congress that set aside 7,680 acres for the band of Mdewakantons who had either stayed out of the U.S.-Dakota War or protected settlers.

See also:
Colleges decline to compete against UND because of Fighting Sioux nickname



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Rep. Diane Loeffler tells feds to get moving on marijuana research

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Dank Depot
About the only thing people can agree on when it comes to the medical marijuana debate is that the federal government isn't helping. Many of the disputes at the state level wouldn't be necessary if the Drug Enforcement Administration would reconsider its classification of the plant as a Schedule One narcotic and expedite, rather than hold up, serious research on its medicinal value.

Troubled by this, Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced a resolution Thursday that calls upon President Obama and Congress to force those federal agencies into action.

See also:
When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota?



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Rick Nolan calls on Obama to "man up" and fire somebody over Obamacare website debacle

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We can say this about Nolan -- he isn't shy about calling out Obama administration officials, including the president himself.
Last month, Rick Nolan went toe to toe with John Kerry over Syria policy. Now, Minnesota's Democratic 8th congressional district representative is putting the president on blast.

SEE ALSO: Obama mocks Michele Bachmann's worry that Obamacare "literally kills women"

This week, Nolan, speaking about the Obamacare website debacle, called on President Obama to "man up, find out who was responsible, and fire them," according to an AP report. He used the same "man up" phrase during an interview with WCCO, adding that "I feel that the people responsible for this did a terrible disservice to the Affordable Care Act and to the president by allowing this thing to go forward when they knew it wasn't ready."

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Rick Nolan says he's expected to spend twice as much time fundraising as on actual legislative work

Categories: Congress, Politics
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"Members are saying there's no sense in running if I'm not going to have more money than the other guy," Nolan told the Strib.
Think serving in Congress sounds fun? Well, consider this: According to new Congressman Rick Nolan, just three months after being elected, he's already expected to spend four hours each day working the phones in preparation for the next election.

SEE ALSO: Michele Bachmann is making shit up in her latest fundraising e-mail

So maybe the best training for a job as a Representative or Senator is extensive experience in the realm of phone sales.

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Michele Bachmann endorses Allen Quist for Congress

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Allen Quist also has a slight financial lead on GOP rival Mike Parry.
In March 2010, shortly after Mike Parry won the Minnesota District 26 Senate seat, we ran a story questioning whether he would be the state's next Michele Bachmann.

The thesis of City Pages writer Matt Snyders was that, like Bachmann, Parry seemed to revel in creating controversy by way of word vomit (or Twitter vomit). Bachmann even endorsed Parry for the legislative spot, calling him "a steadfast champion of conservative values who will stand up to the big-spending, big-taxing liberals in the Legislature."

But it seems that Parry failed to win Bachmann over in the two years since. This week, Bachmann sent a letter to supporters endorsing Allen Quist, Parry's GOP competition in the 1st District Congressional race.

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Keith Ellison votes "present" on "In God We Trust" bill

Categories: Congress, Religion
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Keith Ellison was "present" but unimpressed by "In God We Trust" vote.
"In God We Trust" is our nation's motto, you got it? Well, just so no one forgets, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives held an essential vote to reaffirm that our national motto is our national motto. 

It was a bizarre bit of patriotic theater, but it worked: A whopping 396 representatives, including all but two of Minnesota's congressional delegation, voted yes. As of this morning, our national motto is definitely our national motto.

Only nine member of congress had the guts to vote "No" to the bill. Keith Ellison, representing you, Godless heathens of Minneapolis, didn't go that far. But he didn't exactly hop on board, either: Ellison simply marked "present," which is the congressional equivalent of shrugging and saying, "Who cares?"

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Keith Ellison is poor

Categories: Congress

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​Rep. Keith Ellison feels your pain. Okay, so he isn't exactly in danger of bankruptcy, but an analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics reveals him to be one of the poorest congressmen in the country.

Analyzing myriad disclosure forms--required from all members of Congress--the Center for Responsive Politics puts Ellison at 514th out of 538 U.S. Congress(wo)men in terms of personal wealth.

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Muslims like us: Ellison targeted again for his religion

Categories: Congress
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It must suck for Keith Ellison to constantly deal with his religion. While most folks are fine with his love for Allah, some GOP leaders in Washington think it's one step away from praying at the feet of Osama. If you take their reasoning, Ellison's Muslim-ness is sure sign he is cooperating with the enemy, especially with all those dark-looking interns running around Capitol Hill. Glen Greenwald has a new post about the hysteria it's created, and how much of its sourcing is from a book.


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